Kayenta Trail - Zion National Park
Difficulty Level: Easy
Distance: 1.4 miles round-trip
Leading towards the Emerald Pools, the Kayenta trail is a staple hike within Zion National Park. The trailhead is located across from the Grotto station and the single dirt path stretches for about 0.7 miles before reaching connections with the Emerald Pools. This single dirt path is not very wide and does wrap around the rim of the mountain, but it is very clear and easy to follow. Though there is a steady incline and some rocky parts, the trial is overall easy for everyone and family friendly. Views of Zion and the Emerald Pools can be seen throughout the hike. Kayenta is usually hiked as an alternative path to the Lower, Middle, and Upper Emerald Pools. A trail alternative for Lower Emerald Pool is found at the end of Kayenta. The trail for Middle Emerald Pool is located just 0.2 miles from the end of Kayenta and the the trail for Upper Emerald Pool begins about half a mile up hill from there.
ROUND TRIP LENGTH
1.4 miles round-trip
AVERAGE HIKE TIME
Trailhead: 37.259243, -112.951338
Zion National Park
DISTANCE FROM ST GEORGE
46 Miles (1 hour 10 minutes driving)
Flushing Toilets at Ranger Station/Lodge
Out & Back
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO HIKE
Great Year Round
BEST TIME OF THE DAY TO HIKE
No Permit Required
WATER SOURCES AVAILABLE
Water Available at Ranger Station/Lodge, Stream/River Along Trail (Purify & Filter Before Drinking)
Camping Available only in Designated Camping Area
Dirt Single Track, Rocky
Partial Sun Exposure
DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD
Get Directions to Trailhead. From St George, head north on I-15 for about 18 miles and take exit 27 to Toquerville. Turn right on UT-17 and follow it for 6 miles. Turn left onto UT-9 and follow it for approximately 20 miles until you come to the park entrance. If parking is full inside the park, you can park in the town of Springdale and ride the shuttle up to the park. If you visit the park during the time the shuttles aren’t running, continue into the park for a couple of miles and turn left onto Floor of the Valley Road and continue for 3.4 miles. Continue past the Zion Lodge to The Grotto, and park in the parking lot on the right. The trailhead is on the opposite side of the road.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Starting this hike in early morning really enhances the experience. There is some shade along the trail, but Kayenta holds a unique vantage point to watch the sun rise over Zion National Park. The trail is easy to find and easy to hike. This can make it busy and crowded depending on the time of day. Mornings are usually recommended but since Kayenta also connects with trails leading to the Emerald Pools, there is almost always a steady flow of hikers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Spencer McMullin is originally from Connecticut but has deep ties to the Southern Utah area. His passion for adventure and photography has lead him to HikeStGeorge.